21 Day Fix

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Time for an update! 

Well, I have to say that 21 Day Fix has been a resounding success.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still fat, but I’m less fat than I was and that makes me feel great - and I’m getting stronger as well as eating better which are also really good things. 

I didn’t have the mondo success that some people have on the 21 Day Fix “15 lbs. in 21 days” etc. though I do know some folks who have had that level of success. For me it has been gradual. First round was 8 lbs., second round was 6 lbs. (after gaining 4 back over Christmas/New Years) so after 2 rounds – as of January 25 I was down a total of 10 lbs.  I’m in the middle of round 3 right now and I’m down another 2 since the start which takes me to 12 lbs. lost since December 1st so its darn close to the ‘recommended 2 lbs. a week for healthy weight loss’ pace.  Not too shabby!  Best part is about a week and half ago I couldn’t put it off any longer – I had to go out and buy new jeans because my old ones were falling off of me.  Literally – I was walking down the hallway at work with something in each of my hands and had to try to ‘stick out my belly’ in order to prevent my jeans from falling down.  Suck in my belly I’m familiar with – stick it out – not so much.  So off to WallyWorld for a cheap pair of new jeans – 2 SIZES smaller than the ones doing the London Bridge impression.  Woo hoo.  Looking forward to them ending up on the ‘pants were falling down’ heap as well.

Now I’m at the ‘do I keep doing this 21 Day Fix over and over ad infinitum’ question and I decided that while I enjoy the workouts and the food plan is easy to follow I need a bit of a change.  So off to the Beachbody website to order the PiYo Challenge Pack.  Eight weeks of Pilates/Yoga hybrid and I’m looking forward to trying it out.  Now that I’m in the habit of exercising thanks to 21 Day Fix I’m ready to take on more. 

Plus, I also signed up to be a Beachbody Coach – (What? you ask. But you are still considerably overweight? Who would want you to be their coach?) – Yes, I know I am, but I’m really interested in helping others like me tackle the same issues and programs that I’m working on. It’s a lot of fun to work out with others and I love the idea of doing that – but in the privacy of our own homes – even our own states.  

So that’s where I am right now, still on track (unbelievable) and heading for more. If you’d like more information or would like to join me in a 21 Day Fix Challenge Group or learn more about the Beachbody programs or Shakeology please check out my website for more info: -http://www.beachbodycoach.com/Ronile999

Monday, December 1, 2014

Starting a diet & exercise program on December 1st - makes sense to me.

So in what can only be described as an insane decision I have embarked on the Beachbody 21 Day Fix program starting today December 1, 2014.  Yep, that’s right – during that insane month of constant eating between Thanksgiving and Christmas I’m taking at least 21 of those days out of play. 

I think need my head examined (I’m pretty sure my family thinks so too – but perhaps for more reasons than just this).

The 21 Day Fix is an eating program using portion control of regular grocery store food paired up with a daily exercise program that changes the type of exercise daily for 7 days and then repeats those exercises the second week - followed by the final week of double exercise. 

Sounds insane right? Well these are the same folks who gave the world Insanity and P90X and at least 20 more work out programs.

But I’m sick of being overweight, I’m sick of not being as athletic as I’d like to be, and I’m ready to be a better role model to my kids – It’ll be hard because I spend so much time in my vehicle because of their activities but over the next 21 days my goal in addition to eating better and exercising every day on this program is to lose at least 12 pounds and get into the next size lower jeans (that are already waiting in my dresser drawer from back when they were the ‘right’ size jeans).

Yesterday I planned and prepped some meals (and ate some cookies to get that out of the way), today I started off with the Full Body Cardio workout at 5:40 AM this morning, I’m been eating according to the recommended portions / types of food and I’m ready to keep this going. 

I want to be one of the success stories so if you see me over the next 3 weeks feel free to keep me accountable.

(oh and between Dec 22nd and Jan 1st it’ll be time to feast – so long as I earn it)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Writing again? Well, that's the goal.

Bless me friends for I have procrastinated, it has been almost a year since my last blog post. 

It is not a lack of things to post about that has led to this huge gap but more a lack of putting fingers to keys and just typing out the narrative that usually sounds so great in my head as I’m driving someplace.

Speaking of putting ideas into words - today is November 3, 2014 and NaNoWriMo 2014 is in day 3, and yep, I’ve signed up and started to write a novel. Hopefully I’m not just taking my procrastination to a whole new level, you know, by doing things like writing this blog post during my break at work rather than actually writing words that count for ‘the story’.

If you are not familiar with NaNoWriMo, for 15 years now November has been designated “National Novel Writing Month” and the goal is to take that idea that has been rattling around in your head for days, weeks, months, years – whatever, and put it down in words.  The goal is 50,000 words and thousands of people ‘win’ each year by finishing their work even though for most no one will read it – at least they accomplished it.  That’s my goal.  How many words have I written so far? 264 and I need to up it to about 1800 a day to finish on time so I will sign off here and get back to work so that during lunch I can write the book rather than the blog. 

If you are interested you can sign up for free and start your novel as well – you’ve only ‘lost’ 2 days so grab your paper, ink, pen, pencil, keyboard or whatever and go for it.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

I like Thanksgiving, I really do, and not because I’m some sort of glutton (for punishment or food) but because it think it is really cool that we in this country have decided that it is important to set aside a special day to remind everyone to be thankful. 

It’s not a religious holiday, it’s not an ethnic celebration, it’s not even something particularly patriotic, it’s a reminder to say thanks.  It doesn’t matter what you are thankful for, who you are thankful to or even if you care to participate or not.  It is just there, to be a day to take a step back and say that through all of the other 364 days a year I may be running at 100 MPH and forget to be thankful but today I am reminded that I can and should take a look at my life and find things to be thankful for – everyone can.  Yes, I believe everyone can, poor and rich, young and old, sick and healthy, it doesn’t matter – I believe that everyone has something that they can say thanks for.  That to me is what makes it such a great holiday.

Sure over the years the feast has become more important to some, the shopping has become more important to too many (retailers and shoppers alike) and there are those who ‘dread’ the day because they put themselves in the way of “family drama”.  But ultimately, stepping back, saying thanks and remembering all that we have is a good thing.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall Colors

Normally I love fall. 

The crisp mornings and warming afternoons, the leaves on the trees changing into glorious colors all around me and the opportunity to get outside and “do things” and the Pumpkin Spice Lattes makes fall my favorite season of the year.  I know plenty of people love the spring or the summer and even those who love winter but for me I've always been a big fan of the autumn season.  It is one of the things I really missed the six years we lived in Hawaii.

This year, not so much.  This year I am finding the change of the leaves sad rather than beautiful.  I am seeing the shorter daylight hours as a clock that I am running against rather than an ushering in of a busy and exciting time leading up to the holidays and I am watching the year slip by feeling like I have accomplished so very little.  I also keep feeling pressure to keep doing things at break neck speeds to please everyone else’s schedules.  This year all I see is the brown.

My “to do” list this year was more packed than ever and as a person who believes that I can do anything and everything, seeing so much of it undone is putting a weight on my shoulders.  Much of my “to do” list was left to me rather than something I devised on my own and because of that there are more people than usual depending on me to accomplish everything on it.  In my “away from work” life, I like to set my own goals and deadlines and this time that didn’t happen.  Most of it comes from my Mom’s passing away last November and as the anniversary of that day approaches there is so much that I was hoping to have done by now – that I just can’t seem to get to – and so many things that I thought I’d have had more help with. 

I’m beginning to think of 2012 as a kind of lost year, I was incredibly busy for most of it and still see the daunting tasks and “things I've got to do” that are undone and the pressure on me to complete them.  The house is still over full with generations worth of stuff, I haven’t seen or used my own pots and pans since we moved in here (in a hurry) and I’m using the ones I used growing up, my books and photos are still packed in boxes as the many many bookshelves here are still full of books that I need to pack up and figure out what to do with.  I need more boxes and yet my life is spent walking around and over boxes all day every day.  There are rooms that no one can walk in and my kids have belongings that they haven’t seen in months.  They ask for something and the answer is “it’s probably in a box somewhere”.  There is a storage unit in the driveway that is full of stuff with no place to put it, there is a garage full of things that will make it impossible to park cars when the snow flies and while the attic has room for stuff finding the time and help to get it up there is not easy.  The yard and landscaping need a lot of attention and I still need to paint, freshen and just generally update a lot of the rooms.  The garage sale I kept planning for April or May or June or July or August still hasn't happened and since the garage is so full of stuff where would I even have it?

What was I doing all year that these things didn't get done?  I know I wasn't sitting around doing nothing, I painted a lot of the rooms, I removed wallpaper, I raked and trimmed things in the yard and even tried to plant things, I went through a dozens of boxes and even managed to sell some stuff.

I cooked and cleaned and did a ton of laundry.  Didn't miss very many of those important Mom/Parent roles that needed attending to and I moved my family and dealt with the old house and all of the issues there, I made it to a lot of sports practices and games and put more miles on my mini-van than I care to think about.  But there was so much I thought I’d be done with by now.

I really want to make this house a comfortable home for my family.  It was a great and comfortable home to grow up in and right now all I see when I look around is a mess of stuff with no place.  I feel out of place here and while I know that it will take time to turn this into our house I am getting frustrated with the daunting task of making that happen.

So this year the advent of fall and the upcoming anniversary of my Moms death is making me feel like this has been a failed and lost year.  The rooms I wanted to clean out, the stuff I wanted to get rid of, the bathrooms I wanted to update and paint, the stuff I already accomplished have all been forced and that is part of what is weighing on me, none of it is what I wanted to do – all of it is stuff that I’ve found myself and my family in a position where we had to do it because no one else would.

Jason has been very helpful and while I’m sure he is frustrated at the slow pace he has also been understanding that so many of these things are tasks that only I can undertake because of my attachment to them and this place and a fear of making the “wrong decision” with all of this stuff that is “not mine” but somehow now mine and my brothers.  A little more help from them would be nice but they also have their own lives and their own time lines and goals regarding this place and what is to be accomplish here.  More pressure.  

I didn't want to paint the bedrooms, I had to for us to move in.  I didn't want to go through all of the stuff collected for generations here but it is something I've had to do.  I don’t want to clear out the living and dining room but I have to.  I don’t want to re-do the landscaping but it needs done so I will have to (and thank God Jason is doing most of that).  And really, it is not that I don’t want to do these things – they are all very nice things, and I am good at them and for the most part they really need done.  It is the way that this task has come to me.  I wish I was going through the boxes and the drawers, and the closets and the books with my Mom and not alone.  I wish I had her permission to get rid of her stuff.  I know I don’t want a lot of the stuff, I know that in most cases my brother’s don’t want it (we won’t really go there though) but I also know that so much of it she kept for her own reasons and that makes it harder to go through – but again I know that I have to because I have to make room for my family and I also know that she would want my family to be comfortable here and to enjoy this house as our family did here growing up.

So here I am lamenting the beginning of fall and this lost year – hoping to dig out and bit by bit make a dent in the daunting tasks started nearly 11 months ago – hoping that they’ll be done by this time next year…

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Old Greeting Cards

Boxes of Family History

If the boxes of cards I’ve found squirreled away in my house are any indication, my family has been supporting the greeting card industry for over 80 years .  My family also seems to have an insane need to save all of them.  Tuesday morning I thought this practice was crazy as I faced down 3 bankers boxes of greeting cards saved by my Grandmother and then those also saved by my own Mother over the years.  Part of me just wanted to take the boxes to the paper retriever at the school and be done with them all, put ‘em towards the $20 per ton the school gets on paper recyclables.  I even started to put them in a trash bag – some things are just daunting and as this entire house is filled with boxes that need gone through, at first glance it looks like just a lot of paper – but I stopped.  Then I thought “hmm, wonder if any of those are worth anything on eBay?”  Looked on eBay and apparently yep, there are people who love old greeting cards. 

So, yesterday I sat down with my boxes lined up to go through.  What a treasure of family history and a really neat glimpse into the past and how the people in my family showed their affection for one another.  The oldest greeting card I found in there was from when my Grandmother and Grandfather were dating in 1928, she was 18 years old and apparently she was Andy’s Sweet Tootsie Wootsie.  There are dozens of cards in there that they gave to each other over the years.  They showed a great affection for each other, not only in the cards they chose for each other, but in the hand written messages that are inside these beautiful and sometimes crumbling pages. 

My Grandmother, who I am named after, kept them all.  The cards from her siblings, from her friends, from her parents, her kids, her husband, from her grand kids and great-grandkids.  She kept not only cards that were addressed to her, but also those to the rest of the family in that house on Chester Ave. in McKeesport.  There are cards and post cards from her brother Stan who died in World War II, one very sweet Birthday card he sent to my Mom, his Goddaughter, and I will keep that one forever.   Some had notes in them, some had clippings, a few old recipes and photographs accompany them as well. 

Some are from and between my Mom and her brothers. Apparently bathroom humor on greeting cards is nothing new, and always funny to brothers wishing their sibling a happy birthday.  Some are appallingly politically incorrect looking at them from 2012 but were not seen as such in the 1940s.  A Happy Birthday Dad card with “Honest Injun You Great!” me laugh after I recovered from my jaw dropping.

As I made my way through the boxes the feeling that my family always enjoyed humorous cards was very evident.  While there are plenty of the usual sentimental cards expressing love and caring and appreciation that the card companies depend on to stay in business it was apparent that my family has always enjoyed laughter and laughing with and at each other.  One of my favorites from the early/mid 1950s is from my Great Aunt Alice to her sister Eleanor my Grandmother.  It says “Live it up on Your Birthday Sister, and don’t worry about ruining the family reputation”  inside is says “I did that years ago”.  Those ladies have been taken from us and it so nice to see how fun and playful with were in years past.

As the years went on and the cards were mailed to my grandparents from the places their children scattered to over the years, post cards were kept with the cards, as the grandchildren were born, as my Grandfather passed away, as  great grandchildren came along she kept them all.  As the cards changed, the paper used changed, the sizes grew, the sentiment was still the same and more than half still showed that great sense of humor that flows through the family.  As I got to the third box I found that they were mostly cards that my own Mom had kept over the years, I remembered sending so many of them to her and laughed at the ones my oldest brother managed to find and send – he always finds the “best” cards.  I’m so glad I went through the boxes, it is still a lot of paper but paper is where we tend to find family history. 

The task of going through the quite literally 100s of boxes of ‘stuff’ here in this house is quite daunting and many people have suggested just getting a roll off and pitching so much of it – and yes, a lot of what is here probably just needs to go, in either the trash or on eBay – old warped pots and pans, dull knives, broken coffee percolators and more I have to take the time to go through these boxes because for every box of “stuff” there seems to be one or two treasures in there.  And these boxes of cards held a lot of treasure in them. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Work FROM Home Mom

The Work at Home Mom  

I’m sure we’ll all agree that Moms who are home all day, work long hard hours with their only compensation being the occasional “thanks” or the ever heart-melting “I love you Mommy”.   The Mom at home is in fact a work at home Mom no matter what anyone else would try to have you believe.

The crazy trick that I am trying to balance is the role of Work FROM Home Mom. 

I spent a good amount of last year unemployed, and while that did work out in the “not having to pay for child care” arena, it did very little to assist in the “putting food on the table” activity. 

As anyone who has tried to find a job in the past several years knows, there are not a whole lot of jobs out there right now and the job openings that do come up don’t seem to pay very well, and when you do apply for a job you know going into it that there are likely a thousand other equally qualified people applying for the same position.  It is very overwhelming and often depressing.  It seems that the holy grail of jobs is the work from home position, you don’t have to make as much money as you did outside the house in order to have a similar standard of living since you don’t have the commute or the clothing issues, the lunch cost issues and in many cases, the child care issue.  As all three of my kids are in school full time I thought this seemed like a good avenue to pursue – and my husband agreed.

Direct hire work from home positions are few and far between and the majority of jobs for the work at home employee are often in the “independent contractor” or “freelance” designation.  In effect you become your own employer and hire out your skills.  You may or may not be tied to one company with this set up and you are completely responsible for your own expenses, taxes, and equipment.  This is where I found myself, first on a “jobber” basis and finally on an independent contactor basis.  I LOVE the company I do work for, I really like the people that I work with (I actually wouldn’t mind seeing them in person more often), and the work I do is something I am good at and enjoy.  It is also part time which works with my schedule and as phone work is only a very minor part of the work I can often complete my tasks at any hour of the day.  Sounds great for the work from home Mom doesn’t it?

Nothing throws a wrench into the work from home dream like kids.  Kids who will be happy to be left alone to watch TV or ride bikes or read a book or play with friends have a sixth sense about when Mom is getting on a work phone call or is concentrating on something for “the boss”.  I am quite sure that if I had no idea where my kids were and needed them to all show up at once all I would need to do is try to get in touch with a client for something and they’d all come running needing something RIGHT NOW (of course).

I’m not sure how to balance it all, Monday of this week when the unexpected day off from school happened I barely got any work done, yesterday was a pretty balanced day and today I had to force myself to take a break to eat (and write this).  I’m looking for answers on how to balance it all, working (at home), raising kids, cleaning the house, making dinner, walking the dog and that big pile of laundry that needs folded.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out and the kids will adapt but for now I have to go, dog wants in, dryer needs emptied, need to send a work e-mail and go pick the kids up from school.  Wonder what is for dinner?